Confession: I'm losing my religion when it comes to Glee. Ryan Murphy's hit TV series produces so many highs, like Rachel and Kurt's to-die-for duet on the Broadway set of Wicked, that the frequent lows can be forgiven even by non-Gleeks. Still, I'm calling bullshit on this 3D concert movie. In June, most of the cast began a summer tour that would allow the fans to genuflect. You heard me. The movie plays like an evangelical prayer meeting, though I'd hold the hallelujahs. The characters we came to admire as vulnerable misfits hit the stage like visiting royalty and with a nonstop perkiness that makes the Von Trapps look like manic-depressives. Lea Michele (Rachel), Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Darren Criss (Blaine) do the heavy vocal lifting. Others climb aboard the Auto-Tune express while the caffeinated camera zigzags madly across the stage, avoiding any singer whose lips don't match the words. The audience cheers wildly, no matter what. Even more problematic are the offstage interviews with fans whose lives have been changed by Glee. They include a gay teen, a dwarf cheerleader and a girl with Asperger's. Praiseworthy, indeed. What grates is the hard sell, the see-me, touch-me, buy-me vibe that suggest we're taking the holy waters. Thank the gods of sass that hottie Heather Morris (Brittany) is around to opine that the (otherwise useless) 3D makes her boobs look awesome. Chris Colfer (gay, bullied but unbowed Kurt) is haunting singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand." He's the best actor on the show, with the exception of Emmy winner Jane Lynch (Coach Sue Sylvester), who only appears in the trailer. Crazy, huh? "Please, save your money," snipes Sue, "this thing sucks." It's meant as a joke. But what I hear is the cold snap of truth.
Adam Rose - TM and © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation